We're On a Mission From God
“We’re on a mission from God.” That’s one of my favorite lines from the 1980’s hit movie, “The Blues Brothers”. While the mission Jake and Elmwood Blues were on was noble enough, it wasn’t the mission God has you and me on. God’s mission is simple; preach the gospel to every creature. It’s simple but not easy. Every believer has been given the awesome task of sharing the good news of the gospel with the world. The great thing is you can start right where you are and continue no matter where you go. Paul said it like this to the church at Thessalonica, “we were allowed of God to be put in truths with the gospel.” Notice how he says that, “allowed of God,” not demanded by God or required by God. It communicates the privilege that it is to be entrusted with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And don’t miss that, it is an entrustment, a stewardship: God has one plan for getting the gospel out, that plan is for all believers to be faithful in carrying out the mission.
But it gets better; we are not only on a mission from God we are on a mission with God. It’s a commission! God himself is the source of the power and authority for the mission and he goes with us as we go to fulfill it. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world.” Jesus spoke those words to his disciples in the first century but they still apply to you and me today in the twenty-first century. As we go to take the gospel to the world, he goes with us, supplying all of the power and authority.
...his priority is different than theirs.
Mission Focus, as the name would imply, is about setting aside a few days to focus on the mission every believer has been given. The primary goal of the Living Faith Fellowship Mission Focus Conference is to create a missions culture in our churches that engages every believer to this privileged call from God to expand His kingdom all over the planet.
Preparing for Mission Focus 2018
1. First, I would recommend that you simply commit to being there. Settle it in your mind and write it on your calendar. We are all busy and one of the most effective tools of the enemy is to convince us there will be a more convenient time to focus on the mission. I’ve learned in life that there is never a more convenient time; it will never be easier than it is now. The question is, what is the priority of my life? There truly isn’t anything more important that fulfilling the great commission. It is the reason we have breath in our lungs; it is the business of life. It’s easy to allow the busyness of life to distract us from the business of life.
We find that very thing happens to the disciples in the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4). Jesus reveals to the women at the well who she is and who he is, she puts her faith in him and goes back into the city of Sychar to tell others about the Messiah. As she is leaving the disciples return from a food run into that same city. When they offer Jesus the food they’ve brought from the city, he explains to them that his priority is different than theirs. His priority wasn’t to meet his physical need but doing the will of God and finishing the work. He asked them a question in verse 35 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” Jesus was using this teachable moment to communicate the urgency of the mission. It’s amazing that the Samaritan woman, who had just met the Messiah, went into Sychar and shared the good news in such a way that the whole city came out to meet Jesus. Jesus’ disciples had just been in that same city and they failed to bring one person to Christ, all they came back with was some food. The disciples were not against focusing on the mission, they were just going to focus on it later. They were going to wait a while, for a time when things were less busy. This is a trap we’ve all fallen into, believing that we will get around to it, when life isn’t so busy. We can’t make time to focus on the mission we have to take time. Someone or something is going to get cheated because there isn’t enough time to do everything. So I have to make a decision, I have to choose who or what I’m going to cheat. I would suggest that we not cheat the mission. Why don’t you go ahead and promise God, regardless of what else comes up, I will be at Mission Focus.
We can prepare for Mission Focus by getting our hearts in tune with God’s
2. The second thing I would recommend is that you prepare your heart for what God would say to you at Mission Focus. Don’t wait until the conference starts; begin now to ask God to speak to you about his plan for your life. Don’t leave anything outside the realm of possibilities. God has an amazing plan for you; he wants to give you a life of abundance, a life of purpose and meaning. That life isn’t found in temporal, earthly, material things but in eternal and spiritual things. Between now and the Mission Focus, as you read God’s word, ask him to show you specifically what he wants to do in your life during the conference. Keep a journal of those passages he speaks to you from, reread that journal often as the time for the conference approaches. Begin now in your prayer time to ask God to send forth laborers into the harvest, realizing that the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). Allow the reality of that truth to open your heart and mind to the possibility that God may want you to be the answer to your own prayer, just like it was for the disciples of Jesus in the first century (Matthew 10). God has brought this fellowship of churches together for the purpose of preparing and sending laborers to the field; there are many who God wants to call out into his harvest. We can prepare for Mission Focus by getting our hearts in tune with God’s by praying that he would raise up those laborers out of our midst.
What is my personal strategy for fulfilling the great commission?
3. The third thing I would suggest that you do in preparation for Mission Focus is ask yourself this question, “What is my personal strategy for fulfilling the great commission?” It’s easy to talk about our church’s strategy or what our fellowship of churches is doing to fulfill the great commission but this question is different. What is your personal strategy for fulfilling the great commission? It’s a question that is intended to allow each of us to own our personal obligation to participate in the mission. This isn’t a question that you can give a quick answer to. In fact, I would say this is a question that we deal with every day of our lives, something that we visit often so that we are adjusting our strategy and evaluating our effectiveness. In preparation for Mission Focus, write this question down on a blank sheet of paper and take a few minutes each day to work on it. Start with what you are doing in your daily life now but also allow yourself to dream about what God could do through you in the future. What incremental steps do you need to take to see those dreams become a reality? Maybe you need to get involved in discipleship or take an LFBI class, whatever preparation you need, make a plan to get that training so you are ready to do your part in fulfilling the great commission.
Mission Focus is not only a time to learn and grow through the teaching of the Word; it’s a great time to fellowship with fellow believers and those who are getting the work done. It’s a great opportunity to “rub elbows” with some heroes of the faith and to glean from their knowledge and years of experience. We put a lot of people on a pedestal and count them as heroes but those who have given their lives to fulfill the commission are the real heroes and ones whose example we should follow. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet them, learn from them and follow their example.